Friday, July 31, 2015

Three (very important) things


I'm listening to The Nutcracker.


I listened to it yesterday, too.

Christmas in July, Y'all.


A fair portion of my income is being contributed to 7-Eleven.

I should probably curb this trend.

Did you know they have Simpsons donuts?


This morning, I kid you not, I looked at the sun and thought, "Oh, full moon."
I kid you not.


It was hazy, and I had on sunglasses, so the sun had that effect where you can look directly at it almost, because it's not glaring at you directly but instead is hiding behind some cloud cover.

And also in fairness, you can see the moon during the day, so. Ya know. Fair mix-up.

Shut up, I'm blonde.

(A blonde with a master's degree. It's OK. I'll be fine. I'll just buy myself a 7-Eleven treat and hum to myself and feel better.)

So anyway. Yeah. Remember that time I looked at the sun and legitimately thought it was the moon?

Alex is currently plotting ways to break up with me. And my little brother is laughing at me (This is not my first struggle with astronomy, as he will be happy to tell you).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Almost Adulthood

I know your answer is going to be a resounding "Yes" (at least if you're American that will be your answer), but:

Do you ever feel guilty for doing nothing?


I mean of course you're not doing nothing.

You're going to work, you're getting up with an alarm (or after several snoozes), you can hardly sit quietly for two minutes before you log in to social media to post something clever.

And if you're not doing something else you're probably feeling bad about it, am I right? I know I'm right.

But I mean, do you ever avoid life chores -- laundry, grocery shopping, taking the trash out, picking stuff up off your floor -- for an embarrassing amount of time?

Because I do.

If you didn't realize I was heading that direction with these questions.

I feel like all I've done this week, aside from working, is:
  • drink wine
  • drink beer
  • drink other things -- come on, people, who do you think I am? I've had so much water at the office I've been hanging out double time in the bathroom. #TMI
  • cross stitch (you were waiting for it, I know you were)
  • "swim," i.e. flop around in the water being silly while Alex actually does laps
  • eat scraps of snacks to avoid starvation but otherwise not cooking
  • stop at 7-Eleven on way to work to buy yet another protein bar because I didn't pack the oatmeal and delicious toppings that I have for it yet again
The rest of life has been neglected.

And my nails want to be clipped.

The cat wants fresh litter.

The carpet wants to be vacuumed.

The toilet wants a scrubbing.

And the Bailey wants a nap. OK, not really. The Bailey wants a clean home, and time to do all the cross stitchy things.

But she can't have both, can she?! Mwah haha!

In other news, when I put my hair in a high ponytail, the bangs try to sneak their sly little way into the elastic.

So that's happening in my life. At least my hair is growing while I am actively avoiding doing so.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The dreams of last night

Sarah taught people to cross stitch, and I was her expert-in-residence, to offer both my assistance and my celebrity.

It snowed, at a time of year when it should never snow, and I got mad.

Someone made me cry.

My dad made hot dog after hot dog after hot dog, at some fast food job he had, and we waited and waited through hot dog after hot dog, and I thought for sure that when his shift was over we would all eat hot dogs together as a hot dog loving family.

But he got off his shift and told me we were eating at home.

I was upset.

In fact, I still am a little bit, and am shaking off the badness of the dream in the way you have to do sometimes, when you have to remind yourself that it was just a dream.

Hot dogs for everyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Emotional exercise

I'll tell you where I've been having emotional experiences lately.

On the treadmill.

On the treadmill with my iPod shuffle, specifically.

And no, this is not a publicity push for Apple, though apparently they could use it.

I'm not actually a huge fan of Apple, and my only Apple product is the iPod shuffle which I got for free through a credit card rewards program. I almost put the signature apple-shaped sticker I received with the iPod on my PC to be ironic, but instead set it aside for my sticker-loving niece and nephew.

But I do enjoy my iPod shuffle.

It's convenient. It holds a lot of music. It makes my workouts go much faster. It's purple. It's shiny. It clips on my shorts like a champ.

And it helps create these emotional experiences I've been having lately.

First let me tell you about our "workout room" at my apartment complex.

It feels like a patio, but it's, uh, unattached to any sort of structure.

We'll call it Patio to Nowhere.

There are sliding glass doors on either side of the Patio to Nowhere, and the ones facing north are forever shut. I don't know if they're glued or bolted or what, but you can't get through them.

But I'm glad they're there, because the floor to ceiling glass gives me something to look at (through, really, to see) -- the often uninhabited pool -- while I (mostly walk)/jog.


And this "workout room" includes a treadmill and a bike.

And an air conditioner.

And a sink with a bar counter that's about 3 feet long.

And it contains you, if you're in it.

Otherwise, nothing, which is why I feel Patio to Nowhere is a more appropriate name for the area.

So anyway. I've been (mostly skipping my workouts but) usually not skipping my long workouts which occur on Saturdays, at which point I pack up my Gatorade and water and energy chews and cell phone (to text for moral support) in my Rosie the Riveter tote bag, clip on my iPod and head to the Patio to Nowhere.

To stare at the pool for over an hour.

You should try it sometime it's great.

Actually it kind of sucks, but with the iPod there are emotional experiences sometimes which make it kind of great.

And by emotional experiences I mean that sometimes, lately, I've been getting goosebumps while I listen to certain songs while walking on the treadmill. Because sometimes the song is so sweet or motivating or spiritual that in combination with the adrenaline of enduring exercise, I feel all motivated and spiritual and goosebumpy.

That's it.

But hey it's worth writing about, yes?

I hope so, otherwise this blog's going to need the kind of boost Apple needs to get my readership back up.

This past weekend there was some actual action at the pool, and no I don't mean people actually in the pool using the pool but rather raindrops were falling on the pool.

Now sometimes I do this embarrassing thing where I imagine the song I'm listening to as some sort of soundtrack for my life, which I realize is both narcissistic and disturbing.

So I'll picture myself walking down the aisle at my wedding, or walking down a sidewalk, or something, while the song is playing in accompaniment.

So that's embarrassing and terrible. But the deed is done and I've already admitted it so we're moving on.

But sometimes the music just matches my pace and it is just the bomb dot com when that happens.

And this weekend, there was a moment, that may have been augmented by my imagination, but as I watched the raindrops fall on the surface of the pool, it felt like:

the song

the rain

and my feet

were all speeding up together.

And it was awesome.

Ma petite famille

I love my little family.

I mean, my actually family, yes, which is actually quite large.

But my other, little family.

Alex and Abby and Max.

There was a moment last night, Friday Night Lights paused on the TV, so that A & A could dissect what they thought was a flaw in the plot, their faces framing Max, lying between them on the couch, watching their every word.

Alex and I were eating dinner on the floor, and A fed Max some bits of chicken.

I looked over some time later, and M was sitting right on the edge of the couch, as close to A's face as he could, waiting for more chicken.

So precious.

I so wanted to stay home with that adorable feline today. He deserves to be smooched on all day.

Abby worked on her latch hook project as the drama of Dillon unfolded before us, and I nearly dozed on Alex's shoulder, up past my bedtime.

Last night was the first time anyone sat at our bar stool to eat food (before we moved the dinner party to the floor, picnic style), and Abby and I got very excited about it.

We love our home.

I get so happy when she gets home from work, or when I get home and her car is already in our parking space.

Abby gets nervous when Alex and I have disagreements. And by disagreements I mean when we're reenacting a conversation we had and Alex is claiming that I was more dramatic/animated/untruthful than I really was.

And then Abby feels pressured to take a side and says, "Guys....."

I love my little family.

The other night Alex said "kitty" in the same ridiculous childlike voice that I use, and he immediately shot me a look that said, "I blame you fully for the fact that I just said that."

We're all rubbing off on each other, in the best ways, in my humble opinion.

I go to bed later, Abby goes to bed earlier.

Abby braids my hair at night, so I'll have waves in the morning, and when I do it myself she compliments my form.

I put spinach in my smoothies like Abby does, and I make smoothies period.

I eat salads, a la Alex.

Alex says "kitty."

Abby and I imitate each others gestures, and catch ourselves.

We laugh when we talk. And we listen when the other's struggling.

When Abs and I get really hyper, Alex shifts his eyes and says, "I'm terrified of both of you right now."

I love my little family.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lightning and Costner and Thai, Oh my!

It rained in Los Angeles this weekend.

There was lightning.

That I could see.

And thunder.

That I could hear.

That was weird.

What else was weird is that, while I loved it that it was raining, it got me all anxious inside. I grew up around thunderstorms, much more violent than what occurred this weekend, but this little baby storm had me all nervous. I guess I've lived here long enough that not only do I need a jacket when it's 72 degrees but I no longer feel safe by simply being indoors during a thunderstorm.

So what else can I tell you about my life?

I'm eating sushi for lunch tomorrow. Yum.

I bought -- DON'T JUDGE -- another cross stitch kit.

But it's vintage and so so so cute and the expressions on the faces of the kids in the pattern have so much emotion and it involves rain and umbrellas.

So I bought it, but not to open yet.

It's my cross stitch of a rainy image to open on a rainy day.

Which, in LA, could be a while yet.

I watched the movie McFarland, USA this weekend. It gave me, as my brother calls it, that Mighty Ducks feeling at the end. And Kevin Costner has not aged. Whoa and whoa again. He looks maybe five years older than he did in Message in a Bottle, which was over 15+ years ago.

I had massaman curry and pineapple fried rice this weekend mmmmmmmmm.

I would love to wash my hair right now.

I appreciate you guys reading this "blah blah blah" stuff I sometimes write.

But with that, I think I'll stop blah blahing and leave you in peace. Over and out, for now. A bientot.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Christmas, Clueless, Culinary, Carvey

Anyone else listening to Christmas music in July?

Just me?


Tomorrow's Friday, Y'all!

What are you doing this weekend?

I'm going to the DMV, dressing up in 90s gear and watching Clueless, greeting homies at church, and otherwise chillin' like a villain.

I need to eat more vegetables.

If Alex read that last sentence he would smite his forehead, almost guaranteed.

Or, actually, now that I think about it more, he would yell at the computer screen, "Yes! You do!"

It kills him, my diet.

I tell him -- if I can BE SO BOLD to think this -- that we're like Luke and Lorelai. Lorelai eating Pop Tarts, tater tots, drinking coffee, Luke telling her how everything she's ingesting is going to kill her.

Alex caught me with Pop Tarts in my purse this year.


I'm charming. I can see why he dates me.

Dates me, and grits his teeth while I forego another vegetable and eat a protein bar instead.

I accidentally just typed "protein beer," so you can see where my mind and diet are at.

I'm listening to pop music. I need to be pumped up!

I'm thinking of Dana Carvey's Arnold Schwarzenegger impression (I just spelled Schwarzenegger correctly on the first try!!!) when I write "pumped up." He did a very brief impression of the Governator this weekend when I saw his stand up act, and it was enjoyable.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The needle nest


I am a total domestic, obsessed, happy as a clam, stitching nerd.

It's true.

And here's how I know.

(Besides the incessant stitching, thinking about stitching, shopping for stitching products, and writing about stitching on this blog.)

(As if that weren't enough.)

This weekend I bought a little something at the craft store.

And I'm a little too excited about it.

It's called the "needle nest."

It's a small plastic box.

With a magnet glued inside.

Oh, I'm sorry, were you waiting for more details? Because that's it.

You put your needles in it, they stick to the magnet, and voila. Needle nest.

And I just can't tell you how excited I am about this little piece of matter. Speaking of matter.


I mean. ExCITED about it.

I want to buy one for my mom -- because she would be excited too. Maybe now I know where I get it (she calls sewing her therapy).

I like the way it feels in my hand.

I like its compactness.

I like the weight of it.

I like that I could carry it in my purse.

Hey, I could find a reason.

So there ya go. Y'all know what to get me for Christmas. I mean, not a needle nest, because I already have one. But anything with a nice weight that could be carried in a purse but has no business being in a purse will do. (Example item pictured below).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Canadians and compliments

It was a complimentary weekend.
There were no scrambled eggs and cereal involved (actually, I did eat some eggs), but some other compliments were thrown my way.
Including one from Dana Carvey.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I am one who loves compliments, flattery, attention.
I admit it. (Alex knows it fully, and somehow still thinks being with me is less than aggravating).
I blame my position both as a finding-herself middle kid and the only girl among three male siblings.
But anyway. On to the compliments, and the rest of my fabulous weekend.
It really, ironically, began with an insult.
I was with Alex at a party for one of his friends. We approached the birthday boy, who Alex insists I had previously met, and I told him he was lovely but that I do not remember this meeting that Alex promises me happened on a patio in Hollywood. (I wasn't under any sort of influence, I just don't think that I was actually involved in any sort of conversation with this particular man on that night. Thank you very much.)
But that wasn't the insult.
Someone else ordered a Moscow Mule and Alex asked why the drink is served in a copper mug.
"Because it's pretentious," I said.
Eyes get wider, mine included.
"YOU'RE not pretentious!" I backpedaled. "Just the drink."
Oh that comment fixed everything, Bailey Brewer.
Class. Act.
I'm sure the drink is delicious, but I'm not sure the copper actually adds to the flavor of it and thus is necessary. ... ...
But what do I know? I'm just the girl insulting people I don't really know in a bar.
So after this great start to my weekend, I moved in to Saturday, where I managed to actually fight extreme hunger and the always-there urge to cross stitch and hammer out a draft of the freelance article I'm working on.
Then I got really grumpy and made Alex buy us pizza.
And we watched Friday Night Lights while we ate, because Alex and Abby are currently being ushered into the Dillon Pantherhood, which makes me feel like this inside:
Alex admitted that he watched about 2.5 episodes on his own (i.e. without me there to chaperone and make sure the watching and the paying attention actually happened), and I just about lost it. We walked down the street and I clapped and jumped and he played it off like it was no big deal that he's getting sucked into the drama of Lyla and Riggins and Street and Julie and Tyra just like the rest of us all inevitably do because it's the Panthers and it's Coach and it's Clear Eyes Full Hearts and how can you not fall in love? 
So. Excited. about this.
But moving on.
Saturday night was a night that I really wanted to stay in and cross stitch -- I mean, work on my freelance story -- but Alex and I had signed up for a curling instruction session, and A. was reeeeally excited about it.
So I did one of those relationship sacrifice things and went to keep him company because he was so excited and wanted me to come with.
I admit I was skeptical. I wanted to get it over with so I could stitch and write and sleep at a reasonable hour.
But it turns out hurling stones across ice while your feet freeze over in your shoes is actually quite fun. It's like bocce ball on ice, which is why I think my dad needs to learn how to do it. (The way to my father's heart is to pull him away from whatever he's doing and ask him to play a round of bocce).
And it was at the Learn to Curl event where I received my first compliment of the weekend.
An opposing team member, friendly as ever and who threw quite a great shot of her own, said that she really liked my form, that I was graceful. 
All this after just a few practice shots, which weren't even put into play in the end.
Yeah, check me out with all this new lingo.
And she was Canadian.
A Canadian called my form graceful.
I considered dropping the mic on my curling career right then and there, but decided to be a faithful team member and continue through the rest of the beginners session.
Afterward we went out with my friend Rosie and our curling instructor, both members of the Hollywood Curling Club, and broomstacked, which is a very technical term meaning get a drink after a bonspiel.
I got home close to 2 a.m. So much for cross stitching and early bedtime.
It -- and the sore arms I am experiencing two days later -- was worth it.
And now finally, the final compliment of the weekend, the one we've all been waiting for and eagerly reading through this post for.
Dana Carvey -- aka GARTH -- told me I wore the Garth outfit better than him.
I know. I'm still a little shell shocked myself.
Now. I'm quite certain he was just flattering me, and on his way out the door, and while he was lovely (and adorable and tiny!) I think maybe he just kind of wanted to leave. But it was a small venue and it felt intimate enough that I did what I never do which is ask a celebrity for a picture. But I was dressed like Garth so I had to. I mean c'mon.
And so with that, I drop the mic on my doppelganger Garth career. (Only in part because that flannel shirt is a little too small on me).

Friday, July 10, 2015


I asked Alex to guess what I was doing last night, as we talked on the phone.

"Eating candy?" was his first guess.

"You really like to eat candy," he said, backing himself up.

It took him about six guesses to get there, but he eventually correctly guessed what I was doing:

Stitch, stitch, stitching away on my bed.

Abby came home last night and said, "I wonder what you're doing," knowing full well.

"I have a problem," I countered.

"I think we call it an issue now," she said.

Oh snap.

All right, all right, I'm OBSESSED!

I could be addicted to much worse things, like drugs.

Or candy.

Oh wait.

This week I've purchased, cough, five, cross stitch kits online.







Here's the worst part, and the part that lets me know I have a problem: I don't even feel that bad about it.

Here's the part where I defend myself.

This is a relatively cheap hobby, it really is. You drop $3 - $20 for one kit that includes all the materials you need, and you are entertained for hours upon hours. Some projects take several months, or years, to finish. My biggest project that I'm working on currently has been in progress for almost two years now, and I believe I paid $10 for it.

Framing is a little (lot) more expensive, but that's besides the point. And in any case when I get things framed it's usually for a gift, so it's worth the extra cost.

I have a throbbing ache in my shoulder. I think it might be a stitch-related injury.

Last year I read a LOT of books. This year I've read a handful.

At the beginning of the year I wasn't reading because I was constantly hanging out with Alex and pulling late nights and just crashing at the end of each day.

Now I'm constantly talking about Alex and hanging out with him regularly, but I'm using every spare moment to stitch.

I stitch after work. I stitch while Alex takes a shower after we go swimming. While the oven's warming up. While I talk to Abs, as she adorably lounges on my floor and we catch up on one another's days.

I stitch in my car during my breaks at work.

Stitch. Stitch. Breathe. Stitch. (Sometimes) eat. Stitch.

But it makes me happy.


Wish they all could be California

Alex called me a California girl this week.

OK, technically he referred to me as a California "person," but it's more fun to say girl because then it gives me an excuse to sing Katy Perry Beach Boys lyrics.

The Midwest farmers' preachers' daughters really make you feel alright.

I surprised Alex by jumping into the pool without prompting, because two days prior I eased in to the water with much "whining and crying," as he would say it was so.

It was after dark, so the water wasn't even in the sun, so it was a brave move to just plunge in like that.

As we were swimming laps, I mentioned that the water wasn't as warm as it could be, because the weather hasn't been as hot this summer as it has in previous summers.

And that's when he said it.

"California people are crazy! It was 100 degrees four days in a row last week!"

"Did you just call me a California person?"



He might be right, though.

About me being a California person.

Not about the weather. He be crazy talkin' about that.


Aside from being a week behind on work -- whoa -- I am high on life these days!

And also addicted to cross stitch.

And buying cross stitch kits online.

And googling cross stitch patterns and kits for sale.

I have a problem not a problem.

But I may or may not have just purchased a bunch of cross stitch kits so if you need a decoration for your home just let me know, K?

I think being away from the office rebooted my system. Not that I hate my job, but I needed a little break.

Also I am wearing swimsuit bottoms because I am out of clean underwear. Laundry party tonight!

But really: high on life.

Excited about the books to read, the things to stitch, the laundry to be washed, the chores to be done, the pouring of lentils and granola and rice into glass jars in the kitchen.

Do I have a problem?

I'm going with no.

Whoa, I also just reread the sentence about things I'm excited about and could I sound any more domestic?

I saw my niece and nephews last week, and two of them are really into stickers. They had A BALL sticking stickers on everyone's shirts.

Sticker on one person, sticker on the next, around the circle then back to the first. Stick, stick, stick.

We went to a petting zoo in Wisconsin that included an alligator.

That was weird.

My brother decided to put a piece of dried corn in his mouth to see if a chicken would peck it directly from between his lips.

The chicken did.

Dad took pictures of his four kids playing on -- and slightly bending, with our adult weight -- a swing set.


Alex asked me last night how my novel is coming.

Um, memoir, I said, and gave him a look.

He acted like there wasn't a big difference between the two and I gave him another look.


Did you guys see "Inside Out" yet?

Did you cry like me?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A week away from California is...

Missing California.
Missing my roommate. 
Missing my cat. 
Missing, most of all, my boy.

Dad's eulogy that made people laugh and cry. 
Dad being part Dad and part Pastor Tom, but mostly Dad. 
A week away from California is my nephew asleep in my brother's arms,
being carried out of the church. 

A week away from California is playing with my brothers
Scaring each other in a creepy, bizarre "museum."
Laughing each time we got scared,
Looking for more ways to make the others scream. 

A week away is two days in the car with my biggest bro, 
impatiently counting the miles to Denver as I stitch. 
Catching up on each other's lives. Catching up on much needed

A week away is meeting my nephew, 
almost one,
crooked smile,
six teeth.

A week away is a kiss on the cheek from Patrick,
hugs from aunts and uncles.
An ecstatic mom, and a contented dad,
so happy to see their daughter, and me them. 

Nintendo with Riley on the couch, 
Giggling as we remember all of the game's musical jingles. 
Coffee reheated in the microwave, cookies for breakfast.
Sleeping for 12 hours and then taking a nap. 

A week away is being tearful on the phone with Alex, 
caught off guard by the sadness I feel in the Midwest. 
My sweet beau suggests maybe I am grieving for the life I used to live,
when I was out of place and sad. 

A week away is red wine in a paper cup,
on a hotel bed, having girl talk with Mom.
Waking up Dad in his blue pajamas
to show him my half marathon medal. 

A week away is catching a niece who jumps in the pool. 
Watching my brothers belly flop and yell,
Smiling that they've never grown up. 
A week away is sore arms, from all the catching of the jumping niece. 

A week away is a cranky brother,
who needs coffee and hates traffic. 
A week away is sleeping in four beds in six nights, 
One that creaks, one with a slow air leak. 

Breakfast dates span the week, 
Early alarms, ignoring the option to snooze. 
Toast with cousins, coffee with Corie, 
Hot cakes and sausage with the niece, the nephew, Mom and Dad. 

A week away is my cousin's pregnant belly,
new life in the midst of life lost. 
A week away is weeping aunts, 
comforted by a brother, and a son. 

A week away is hiking in the heat. 
Sweating through my shirt, 
realizing we left Gatorade behind in the car. 
The baby asleep, riding on his daddy's back. 

A week away is aches in my legs,
balancing in heels on a hilly graveside.
Roses for Grandma,
lying once again beside Gramps, her love.

A week away is being ready to return,
Eager to see boy, and roommate, and cat.
I am promised fireworks,
viewed from a rooftop.

A week away is worth every moment.
The lack of sleep,
the miles in the car.
Time with family, blood and otherwise.